#nofilter

Listen, first you should all know I try with my whole being not to like Mumford and Sons.

But this song, y’all… I can’t stop.

Now, for something totally unrelated to Mumford –

Recently, I read this beautiful piece about writing what you know.  Writing about the pain and the joy… and the stuff you think no one gets.  I’ve always hated people who sugar coat the truth – or people who sugar coat their writing (ie: Elizabeth Gilbert’s first chapter in Eat Pray Love), but writing what you know means you have to write about the real stuff.

And the real stuff gets personal.

For the most part, I think people know a lot about me.  I share way too many short sentence thoughts on twitter and FB, I share too many opinions on this Southern Wild blog, and I post a thousand photos of daily, mediocre life on snap chat.  But I feel like there is still a large aspect of me that I keep secret.

Someone recently made a very sweet effort in telling me how inspiring my posts were, and they noted that they were “envious” of my happy outlook on life.  That was incredibly sweet, and nice to think about, but it made me feel like a total fraud.

You see, I don’t like thinking about the bad stuff – which means I don’t like sharing it – which means I don’t write about it – which probably means, even though I share a lot of personal thoughts, people don’t really know me.

But in a world where selective oversharing is taking over, the idea of being completely translucent in writing is difficult.

Really, really difficult.

After a post I wrote a few days ago, my mother expressed that my writing is not as vulnerable as it once was.  She was worried I put too much thought in what others think when they read it, and she was right.

But when you want to write for a living – people have to want to read what you write.

AND THAT IS TERRIFYING. 

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I love sharing my attempts at discovering who I am, what I want, and where I fit in this world, but I hate sharing the negative side of doing all of those things.  Unfortunately, when you don’t want to harp on negatives, you have to find the positives, and sometimes that focus on the positive side shows an idealized, Kim K version of what life is really like.

I guess what I’m trying to get across is this:

Life really is beautiful, chasing after dreams is the best adventure, and love and friendship are the most rewarding feelings in life.  However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t parts that suck.  There are days that are hard, there’s disappointment, there’s loss, and there’s still failure.

I don’t write to help people, or to inspire, or to evoke feeling.  But I also don’t write to mislead.  I write because I like it, and sometimes I feel like it’s the only thing I innately know how to do.  I write when I can’t sleep, I write when I can’t talk things out, I write when I can’t understand how I feel…  but that writing isn’t the writing I share.  I share the dumbed down version of that, because I have this immense fear of how it will be relayed.

And that’s not fair.

Maybe that’s something we should all strive to change?  I’m not saying not to keep the private things private – but this world could use a raw look at things.  Maybe it will let us all know how closely our lives and challenges align with one another.

– Cap

5 things you thought no one ever told you…

I have this theory, and really it’s more like a signed will and testament.

It’s that little beauts of knowledge have been dangling themselves in front of your eyes for centuries waiting for the exact moment when you reached full maturity and intellectual capacity to expose themselves to you again… to give you one last shot at the pudding.

Clearly, they’ve been there all along.  They fought for your attention like a little infatuated sixteen-year-old girl.  They tried to warn you of all the shit life could throw your way, but you insisted on finding it all out on your own.

In other words, you have been too egocentric, too closed minded, or too oblivious to acknowledge their significance.  And now, when you look back, you realize all of those annoying clichés have stemmed from something real.

All of those short sentences that make you roll your eyes in irritation actually do mean something.

This is a little sappy (something I’ve apparently grown accustomed to), but it’s the exact event in which this theory arose:

Two summers ago, my grandmother (aka the human equivalence to Jesus), was in the hospital after a heart attack. This heart attack occurred months after a breast cancer diagnosis, and we (the entire family including the human form of Jesus herself) all thought it was the end for Corrine.

I spent a couple nights at the hospital with her, and tried to really soak in her holy ambiance for all the time I had left. Now, I realize that was more selfish than helpful… but I think Corrine liked me being around because I make a great Skip-Bo partner – in the sense that I’m easily beaten.

But that’s beside the point.

The point is, Corrine and I were listening to some of her favorite tunes when Doris Day’s “Que Sera Sera” came on. I found myself really focusing on the lyrics, because I wanted to connect with who my grandmother was as a younger girl. I wanted to appreciate the stuff she’s appreciated in her life. I wanted to cling on to everything about her and her past and who she was before I existed in this world.

When the song ended, I said, “That’s really beautiful. I’ve never heard that.”

And that’s when Corrine really took on the crown of thorns.

“You’ve heard it, Cap! You just never listened.”

(mic drop)

And the theory was developed.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read or heard something that I’ve seen a thousand times, but suddenly it takes on new meaning.  I’ve always heard life was cyclic.  That there was some kind of serendipity in how things play out.  And, if I’m being honest, the way things seem to grow in meaning and substance over time and experience is one of the more vital signs of that sense of connectivity in the world.

I like to think that #lyfe, no matter how its spent, contains surprises and new learning, but now I feel like I’m in a race to find it all out.

I NEED ALL THE CLICHES ANSWERED.  ALL OF THEM. 

There’s a large part of me that fears some of the knowledge I’ve discovered while revisiting literature or life situations may have never been uncovered if I hadn’t needed to hear it.

But how do I force myself to grasp on to the significance in the moment?

More importantly… Can you even train yourself to do that?

I don’t know, but I will tell you what I’ve figured out so far.  The ones that were right from day one.  The good ones.  The steady ones.  The ones Little Wayne would refer to as his bottom bitch… if he read into clichés like I do.

So, without further ado… the five things you thought no one ever told you:

1.  Goodbyes really do lead to new hellos.

2.  Its never too late to go home.

3.  Time spent learning (anything) is never time wasted.

4.  There really is a lot of commotion in silence.

5.  Life really does start at the end of your comfort zone.

Let those soak in.

– Cap

(Thanks Mamaw)

A sappy love story

To my mother.

Writing about home is something I find myself doing quite frequently.  I often fear that I am boring readers because after all… home is really only special to the person who calls it that.  I told myself this Southern Wild blog would not be personal.  I told myself I would stay on the surface with all matters that directly affect the people I love, but that’s hard to do.  Because the people I love make me who I am, and I can’t very well write about any one else.

Every time I visit home I realize I’m not the Cap that left.  There is an ache in my heart for all of the wonderful things I’m missing in the daily routine at home, but there is a love for the obliviousness in being away.  There is something so painful about going home.  I won’t go into detail, because I’m saving the juicy stuff for my big New York Times bestseller (kidding), but there is a heartache so deep that only seems to surface when I cross over Louisiana territory.

Youth seems to grant each individual the convenience of moving forward – something I’ve always found charming.  But adult life, especially at the root of the pain, is a constant tug-a-war with progression.  You see, I believe we are all allowed to make our own futures, but sometimes the things we hoped our futures would cover up make up too much of our foundation and the battle between growth and personal substance is too much to overcome.

Getting to my point..

I was a caring kid, but between my mother guarding me from the harsh reality of our life and my father lying about every aspect of daily interactions – it was hard to get a real grip on the interpersonal relationships within my family unit.  For a large part of my life, I thought my mother was too saddened by her past to focus on the future.  I grew up thinking my father, when sober, was the glue that held my family together.

How wrong I was.

Over the holidays, I watched as my mother set out every single item from my niece’s Christmas list under her tree. I watched her stress about the barbies and the books she purchased.  I helped her mark off each item, and I even signed Santa’s name on Addie’s list.  For the first time, I understood the magic in Christmas.  It was like a spotlight suddenly beamed on my little heart, and I was no longer a Grinch.  I’d venture to say my heart even grew a few sizes that day.

Yet, after the warm, fuzzy feeling came over me and covered my body in goose bumps, I wondered why my mom was in charge of playing Santa.  So I asked her, because that’s what adulthood has taught me.  I asked why she did the shopping, and why she arranged the gifts, and why she sprinkled glitter streamers all over the house.

“Well, who else was going to?”, was her response.

My body nearly doubled over from the realization.  My mother had been covering up everyone else’s screw ups her entire adulthood, and she’d done it quite successfully.

Here I am, nearing Senior Citizen discounts, and I’ve only just been able to grasp the amount of roles she plays on a daily basis.  I left shortly after Santa’s workshop exploded in her living room in a desperate attempt to hide the waterworks that were about to flow from my tear ducts. I think loads of people attempt to put into words the love and respect they have for their mothers, but I’ve never felt as though I understood that depth prior to her uttering, “who else was?”.

She’s been my everything even when I didn’t see it. She’s the foundation that makes looking back not quite so hard. She’s the reason I still call Louisiana home.

That’s the kind of woman I hope to be.

-Cap

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Southern Wild: A starting exposition

As it usually goes, I have a million and one things I should be accomplishing at this dawn struck hour.  Yet, here I am contemplating which post should start off this Southern Wild adventure… which takes precedence, obviously.

You see, in the world of procrastination – I rule.  I will not be modest on the account.  I could build an empire in two days, as long as you’ve given me at least five other, more important tasks to complete. I guess that’s where this blog comes in.  I need a little escape from the rather daunting projects currently going on, and what’s more fun than procrastinating daunting projects?  Exactly.  NOTHING.

So far tonight, I’ve successfully stalked every acquaintance I admire on Facebook, Twitter and Insta, I’ve planned a full menu for an imaginary restaurant in downtown Charleston, and I’ve not only created a logo, title and blog post for this blog we speak of now… but I’ve also cultivated the very thought of it!  All this while a 30 page short story on Cajun heritage is hanging over my head.  (In which I’ve completed a mere total of 4 HORRENDOUS pages)

Hopefully, Southern Wild will host my account on life’s events in a manner that makes it seem more interesting than it actually is.  Because, let’s be fair… it’s pretty sub par.

Words of Advice that will help you if you so choose to follow the posts:

I don’t like rambling.  However, It seems to be a never ending side effect of writing and drinking bourbon.  Two things I happen to enjoy greatly.  For this, I apologize in advance.

Secondly, I have an obsession with ellipses… and short. one. word. sentences. like. this.

Thirdly, I have a weird thing where I think attempting to forego my basic bitch image is funny.  It’s not funny.  I get that.  Still, I think making fun of current hype words is my true passion in life.  I often write (and speak) in a satirical format that seeks to ridicule every individual who genuinely uses words and phrases like:  bae, bye Felicia, #WCW, #selfiesunday, and so on.  So, the gansta talk will be here because it’s totally bae, and that’s what I’ve grown accustomed to, bitch.  #YOLO

Also, you should know I write and compose rap songs for my pup.  It’s a real problem.

So, if these all seem like doable exceptions to make – please tag along while random thoughts get transferred into the blogging world.  It may be wild at times, as the lack of sleep and increased blood alcohol levels do permit my mind to express every aspect of my little life… but that should be the fun in it all.

To new adventures.
Cheers,

Cap