Month: January 2019

Musings

What About The Middle Road?


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There are two sides to every story…. unless it is your side.

This is what I don’t get with today’s political climate. People are either Left or Right. When I tell people that I don’t have a side, they treat me as if I said, “I’m on the other team.”

Either that or they tell me that I’m too scared to pick a side because it is obvious which side is right and which is wrong.

Coming from the academic circuit recently, It was generally people that were on the left that are confused as to how I don’t see the left as being the correct side. I have some views that lean right.

In my personal life, I have family and friends that are on the right, and are equally confused when I say that I have some ideals that lean left.

Why can’t I be in the middle?

Is it because there isn’t a “Middle Party?” At least not one that stands a chance of winning the election.

I’m baffled that we teach our children to express their opinions in a respectful manner, and to also treat others with the same respect they want to receive, then we turn around and scream at other adults that “I’m right and you’re clearly wrong, so you’re the enemy!”

On the news, on the internet, and in person, when it comes to politics, all I ever see is “MY SIDE RULES!”

What I find most interesting is the mob mentality of it all. I can usually get a person to be rational if we’re talking one on one. Not everyone, but generally speaking, people are more willing to admit that there are two sides to a story so long as they aren’t at risk of being heard by their fellow party mates.

What does that mean? Why are people so afraid? When did logic become obsolete? Emotional reaction has taken over and it scares the shit out of me for our countries future. Would a middle road future really be so bad?

News and Updates

70,000 Words!


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Today I have reached a major milestone in my memoir. I have written 70,000 words. That’s about 230 pages, and I can’t even believe it! Technically, it is enough to call this a novel, but I’m not finished yet. I still have more to say. However, I will be done with this in 2019 and will be shopping it around to agents and publishers!

The best advice I’ve ever received about writing is to write in the morning! I write first thing when I wake up and over the past four months I have written more words than I ever have in my entire life! (maybe not combined, but total for one project).

Thank you so much to those who have been reading and giving me advice. Thank you to those that have been encouraging me to keep writing. Thank you to those that bet I would have given up by now, you’re my favorite! Thank you to myself for getting up, day after day, and writing, regardless of the stress that’s been lingering!

That is all, thank you for reading this, and I will keep you posted when I reach the next mile stone!

 

Musings

God Exists, But He Isn’t a Man


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God is real, but he isn’t a man.

If you’re religious, or have any knowledge of the Abrahamic religions, then you’ve probably heard that “God made us in his image.” Because of this, many people depict God as an old man with a long white beard. God is also depicted as a single dad that loves us all. If we trace human nature back as far as we can go, this just can’t be true.

Men are not loving by nature, we’re tolerant. Read the old testament, God was vengeful, and full of wrath. But, what about women?

Women were supposedly created from the rib of men. I don’t buy this. If that were true, then why wouldn’t it be the way in which women are created today? That would be pretty cool though.

Imagine being a young boy, playing and hanging out with your friends, but once you hit a certain age, and “grow up,” you could decide to settle down, remove one of your ribs, creating the perfect wife for you, and have a family. It would make it clear that men are superior, and women are here to please us. Sadly, that is not how it works.

How do we make people? Sex! Men and women are both required to make a new person. That alone should tell you that we are fundamentally equal and that whatever story was written about women being inferior to men is BS. We are equal, but opposite, and that’s okay.

There are exceptions, but in general:

Men are external. We act OUT. We wage war on the world. We hunt, we kill, we provide. Our sex organ is on the outside of our body. We are strong physically, our outer shells made of steel. We are dominant and intimidating. We overtake by force.

Women are internal. They act IN. They wage war in their bodies, growing life from within. They sheath us. They receive. Their sex organ is inside. They are strong emotionally, their inner shells made of steel. They are submissive and cunning. They overtake by strategy and persistence.

Fire and Water.

Fire can boil water. Water can extinguish fire. Fire can warm a home, or fire can scorch the earth. Water can nourish life, or water can drown it. Neither better; both necessary; both deserve respect. It isn’t better to be a man, nor is it better to be a woman.

God is a singular word that represents the duality of life. Broken down, God would be two Gods; God, the mother, or Space, and God, the father, Time. Space and Time. Without one, the other can’t exist. If there was no space, just time, what would that even be? It is impossible to describe, because nothing could exist without a space to exist in. The only way we know that time exists is by measuring the changes in space. When you see a banana rot, it is indicative that it has been sitting out for some time.

On the other hand, space, no time. The universe would be like a photograph, or a model. It would just exist, but nothing would ever happen, nor change. No moving parts, no clouds, no rain. No wind, no us. Beautiful, but pointless.

No, we need space AND time. God, the father, made love with God, the mother, and he seeded her womb, space, where life grows and is nourished. Not every sperm makes it to the egg, not every planet sustains life, it takes a miracle. We live inside our mother’s womb, and when we die here, perhaps we are really being born there, wherever “there” is. Call it Heaven if you’d like.

spaceandtime

Musings

With All This Talk About The Wall


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wallcoming

Where The Wild Things Are
and where they came from
by R.J.Harrigan

When it comes to immigration, I say let them in. I believe the world shouldn’t have borders and we should all travel more. Sure, there are some bad apples in the bunch, but I don’t think that makes up a large enough percentage to damn the whole lot. While defending their stance on being anti-immigration, someone once said to me,

“If you had a bowl of M&M’s, and one was poison, would you keep eating them?”

I thought about it a moment, and said,

“No, I wouldn’t. However, I wouldn’t assume that all M&M’s are poisonous and ban them from being sold in America.”

I get the point they were trying to make, but it’s logic based on fear, and often easier to shut down the temptation then to deal with the issue.

For example, I used to drink. It didn’t have a negative consequence on my life, at least not in the way that I would consider it to be alcoholism, but I noticed that I had a high tolerance, and that I have a family full of heavy drinkers, so I decided to take a break. That break has been about 5 years now. In this case, I let my fear of turning into an alcoholic decide to remove the temptation altogether. However, if my decision was to remove all alcohol from the country because of my personal fear, then that would be a problem.

Keeping alcohol in the country means that we will have some bad apples who drink and drive and kill people; who drink and make bad decisions with their finances; who drink and abuse their children; who drink and sexually assault people. These are all things that would be greatly reduced, or eliminated, if we removed alcohol entirely. But we like alcohol too much, so we take the risk. If we could love people as much as we love alcohol, then we would be more willing to take the risk.

It is completely acceptable to distance yourself from the things you fear. If you don’t want immigrants here, then don’t make friends with immigrants. Don’t hire them. Don’t interact with them any more than you must, and even though I find that narrow minded, I also believe it to be your human right to do so. If an immigrant works at a store you shop at, and if that offends you, then go to another store. If they are driving you in a taxi, then please, get out and wait for another. If they are packaging your food, go support your local farmer’s market. There are options.

Now, I understand that many people aren’t opposed to immigration, but are opposed to ILLEGAL immigration. In which case, I understand, and even though I don’t believe in borders, I respect that they exist and should be treated as such.

Do I think our immigration process should be a little easier? Probably. I had a friend back when I was fresh out of high school that was going to take her citizenship test. She was nervous and asked me to quiz her. I knew 10% of the answers. She knew 100%. By the test’s standards, she is more American than I am, yet I am awarded citizenship for geographical circumstances that I had no control over. I think a background check, sitting down with a counselor to help map out your trajectory/intentions, and a time limit to get a job or enroll in school should suffice. Knowing our country’s entire presidential history seems unnecessary, but maybe that’s just my fear of being judged for not knowing it, so I want to cast out the entire system. You decide.

Motivation, Musings

Writing Tips


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Writing Tips
by R.J.Harrigan

Being a writer is one of the hardest but most rewarding passions to pursue. Unless you’re thinking monetary rewards in which case, be a doctor or something. I kid…not really.

How to be a writer is another challenge. Here are 3 simple tips to follow so you can call yourself a writer too!

1: Carving Time

The single most important thing when it comes to writing is actually WRITING! The number one excuse I hear (and have used) is

“I don’t have time.”

I know it might feel that way but let’s be honest, there’s time. You have a few options. Either accept that you’re never going to write the next great American novel – or find the time. Take note of how you’re spending your time throughout the day. How much are you spending:

  • Watching TV
  • Browsing the internet/social media
  • Playing video games
  • At the bar
  • Chasing dates

You see where this goes? You have the time, but you’re not prioritizing writing. Find a time that you can use to write, whether it is 30 minutes a day, or an hour, and keep to it. Be consistent.

I only started prioritizing my writing in the fall of 2018. So, just a few months ago. However, I decided to write in the morning, before my day starts, and that meant waking up earlier, around 5:30 am to write; which meant going to sleep earlier, which meant adjusting my night routine, which meant eliminating caffeine after 5 pm. It seems like a lot, but it was actually easy after the first week. I wrote every day, regardless if it was a few hundred words or a few thousand. I didn’t put pressure on it, I just enjoyed writing. Now, as of this post, I have 53,000 words, 168 pages written. You can do that to, one page at a time. Just make sure to keep writing!

2: Don’t Get Hung Up On The Details

If anything prevents you from writing, put it aside and come back to it.

Look, I know what it is like to write a line, or a paragraph, or a page, and think, “This sucks, I need to revise it right now.” However, that can lead to frustration, and exhaustion, and eventually quitting.

Guilty.

I’ve quit so many times in my life, taking months off before writing again. It wasn’t until this recent attempt that I decided not to get hung up on a line. If something doesn’t feel right, I just highlight it in yellow and move on. The important thing to remember is that writing is rewriting. You can always come back and make it better!

3: Take It Seriously, And Make Sure Those Around You Do Too

Yes, that means your spouse, children, friends, etc. My wife is very supportive and understanding about my writing, but we’ve bumped heads a few times when I said,

“I can’t right now, I have to write.”

Those around you will see it as a “hobby,” because you’re not getting paid (at least I’m not, yet!) to write. So, if it gets in the way of what they want you to do, whether it is a chore, or drinking, they will tell you that your writing can wait. If those things fall inside the time that you’ve carved out (see step 1), then you must choose writing!

Obviously, you can make the exception if it is an emergency, like hospital worthy, but not emergency like, “Bro, it’s my only night off this week.”

That’s it! 3 Simple tips. Make time. Keep writing. Take it Seriously. Do these things, every day, and you will be a writer! Good Luck!

Motivation, Musings, News and Updates

New Year’s Resolution


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This year I am going to finish my memoir and hopefully get it published!

I also want to get more viewers to my site, especially participants that will submit writing to me for my “What’s Your Story?” section.

Most importantly, I want to be happy and as stress free as possible. I put in some serious work in 2018 to lower my stress and I made it a good portion of the year being happy, but the last month started taking its toll on me and I can feel myself slipping backwards. I am fully aware of it and doing what I can to prevent myself from taking too many steps back. Sometimes a step back is necessary to move ahead, so I’m going to chalk it up to that and keep it moving.

Writing has been my outlet that has saved me from breaking. I always feel better, calmer, lighter, after writing. It feels so good to put my laptop screen down, signifying that I’m done for the moment, and knowing that I am one step closer to finishing this book. I can’t express the joy I feel in being proud of myself. It isn’t a feeling I’m familiar with. I’ve always downplayed my achievements because they weren’t things I cared about, just what I thought I should do. Writing this book is something I care about, and every day that I write, I still can’t believe that I’m actually doing it. If I can, anyone can, a tired cliche that I loathe myself for saying, but (again at the risk of sounding cliche) it is true. Ask anyone who knows me personally and they’ll tell you, I had the potential, but not the drive. But here I am, new year, 52,000 words deep in this memoir. I can’t be stopped and I can’t wait for you all to read it when it is done!

Happy New Year!

2019’s mantra is “Keep it light, Dutch. Keep it light.”