Friday, December 16, 2011

Gen-WTF and WHY I'm here


This is my first foray into, I guess, what one would call a 'Blog’.

It's simply a recce, a recon, a preliminary look into the landscape ahead. I'm new at this, so I need to know what to expect. I’m a stranger in a strange, unknown land. Out of my element, bringing with me nothing more than desire and ethic. Many of you will say “Go away, Old man. This is not for you. Cyberworld is ours. You don’t belong here.”

But, you need to understand something. I'm NOT the only one out there like me. We are an entire GENERATION.

We're the 'Geezers', the 'Men of a Certain Age', or the new term, 'Old Dogs'.

WE, are GEN-WTF!

We're your fathers and grandfathers, the ones you've forgotten. We once had a place in society, but technology and evolution, (not to mention a healthy dose of 'ADHD'), replaced us and set us aside. That's why I'm here. To introduce, and in some respects, RE-introduce, what we like to call GEN-WTF.

It seems like one day, we woke up, took a look around, and asked ourselves "WTF?" Things had suddenly changed, right before our eyes, and we didn't see it coming. "How did this happen?" we asked ourselves, not really comprehending the fact that the EVIDENCE that changes were on the horizon had been right in front of us for years...

We were just too stubborn to even believe it.

(Okay, by now you're either bored, in which case you jumped back to the homepage, or you stuck around, wanting to know more, and if so, YOU are the one I'm interested in knowing.) But first, a little background:

All my life, I worked. I held a job. I brought in money to pay the bills. (Okay, I took 12 years off to serve in the military. But that kinda counts as a job too. MAYBE even the most important one I ever held) 

I was creative. Be it building houses, repairing homes, or creating unique custom furniture, I created. My clients loved my work... 

And then, 'IT' happened. 

Imagine for a moment, not being able to ever again do that one thing you had done for so long, that you knew nothing else. Imagine never being able to do that again. I always took it for granted that I would be doing this everyday, for the rest of my life. It was what I DID. When 'IT' happened, I just one day thought to myself "What The F..K?" I knew I couldn't handle that, so I decided that I WOULD! And all the while, wondering "What the FUCK happened? When did things get like this?" I pushed on.

Of course, the signs had been there for years, I now realize. But because I had grown up believing that you 'suck it up, deal with it', and holding to the mantra that 'Pain is weakness leaving the body', I pushed myself. I had a job to get back to. I had to get back to doing the ONLY thing I knew. So I pushed myself, more and more, not acknowledging what my body was telling me. Nope, stubborn me, just pushing on forward like the bull I have always been... 

And then, the damage became permanent. And that one thing was gone...forever. 

I went trough all the stages: Anger, Denial, Depression, all of 'em, but it took me awhile to finally reach 'Acceptance'. 

...and that's the why of WHY I'm here. Now for the HOW.

I've always had friends that were younger than me. In some cases, no more than little kids. But I have this one group from Gens 'X', 'Y', and even 'GEN-WHINE' that like to hang out with me. Some are kids in the neighborhood, some are from the university, all with varied political and lifestyle views, and they range in ages from 18-34. They call themselves my 'pups', and have always considered me their 'Alpha', the one they come to to either fix something, or give advice, and even twice, for protection. 

When 'IT' happened, my 'pups' were first on the scene. They helped me reach the 'Acceptance' stage. 

So, there I was, now depressed over the fact that there were certain things I could never do, when I bounced around the question "Now what?"

"Become a writer," one said, a look of total seriousness on his young, innocent face.

"What the hell do I have to write about?" grumbled I, as I poured myself another shot of Jack Daniel’s.

"All that cool shit you know how to do," said another, as she snatched the bottle from my hands, capped it, and set it aside.

Now, I couldn't picture myself doing a 'How to...' book. I just don't have the patience to explain certain things that you should know by instinct, but for whatever reason, SOME of you don't know enough that you have to HIT the nail with the hammer in order for it to go into the wall to hang the picture from, (I blame all the drugs my generation did on this), so I politely told this one pup that she was full of pig excrement.

"I don't mean a 'how-to' book," she said. "I mean a book about the things you 'Old Dogs' know how to do. All those cool things you know, the places you've been, the cultures you've seen. Write a book about some of the things you USED to do, and that some of you STILL do." 

Not a bad idea, thinks I in my sour mash–induced stupor.

So, I did. "Now what?" 

"Get it published," says another of my pups.

So, knowing NOTHING about book publishing, or anything remotely pertaining to the book industry, I plod along, receiving rejection after rejection, some kind, others more of the mocking variety, until I discover that I lack any form of promotion, particularly, that of the 'Shameless-self' variety.(My personal favorite, I might add)

So, another of my beloved pups tells me all about social networks, blogs, and the whole wonderful world of 'Digital Shameless Self-promotion', and shows me how to get here. 

So, here I am, on my initial recce of this uncharted (for me) land. I'm hoping to run into a few friendly locals on the way, to keep me out of hostile territory, and avoid the minefields and sniper hides that I'm certain lie in my path, but I'm forging ahead... 

After all, it's all I can do. 

Sic vis Pacem, Parabellum, (or is that Paralegal?)

Wiley (Coyote)

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