When I was in second grade, I was the Riddler from Batman Forever for Halloween. How fitting that all these years later, I’d be consumed by questions. Drowning, really, in what-ifs and if-onlys. Weighed down by hows, whys, and whens. Weighed down by riddles, if you will.
After my first two crime fiction novels (The Next Victim and ‘Til Death) were published, I did a few book signings and was often asked the same question from attendees: Why do you write about murder?
Yep, another question, and one I didn’t know how to answer until recently.
Back then, I thought I chose to write in the suspense genre simply because I liked it. I read suspense books, watch suspense movies, why not create suspense stories myself? Made sense to me.
Well, I’ve gotten a little older, a little wiser, a little fatter, and as a result, I have a few more wrinkles, a double chin, and a deeper answer to that question.
I believe I navigate towards the suspense genre because nine times out of ten when you reach a conclusion—regardless of the type of media—everything is wrapped up neatly with a nice, pretty bow on top.
No, not every single time. There are cliffhangers and examples of mysteries that have gone unsolved, in both real life and fictional universes. However, I’ve gotten comfortable learning the who, what, why, when, where, and how of various situations.
Unfortunately, life is not always one of those situations, is it? It’s rarely one of those situations. To my dismay, life is not like a game of Clue, more like a game of Operation. One wrong move and you’re completely fucked.
Well, you get the idea.
As such, life currently has me feeling confused. And, as I said above, eaten up by questions.
I was going to use this platform today to explore some of those questions, questions mostly surrounding the gay community. However, a friend recently mentioned that I might have some cynical emotional baggage geared towards the gay community. And I agree with him. Perhaps it’s time to up my therapy sessions, even journal more, or meditate daily instead of just here and there. Because, while I do have issues with this community—my community—I never want to be viewed as cynical or negative or miserable.
So, instead of writing about or regurgitating the issues I have with the gay community—and yes, there are many—I’m going to attempt to answer one of the burning questions that are keeping me up at night.
Why did I choose to write and publish my last blog article?
I posed this question to a very important person in my life, someone I consider to be a mentor. She responded so raw and truthfully—which I whole-heartedly appreciate. After all, without the raw truth, how can we possibly become aware of ourselves and aware of others? And it’s that awareness that will (hopefully) prompt change when needed.
Anyway, I was given four intentions to consider. Four different reasons to think about why I’d written the detailed piece (though it was entirely true) and what I’d hoped to accomplish from releasing it. Intent is significant, especially in today’s climate. Intent and how that intention is received by others are two areas I need to always be working on.
All I can say is that I’m trying. Hopefully learning, hopefully getting better.
With the article, did I simply want to express myself? Did I want to get someone’s attention—a specific someone? Did I want people to read it in hopes of influencing their opinions of the situation? Did I want to help someone who has been in a similar place in their life and let them know that they’re not alone?
If I’m being honest—completely honest because I’m all about the raw truth, remember?—I have to say it’s a combination of all four intentions. I chose to write and share the previous article for myriad reasons, all of which are listed above.
Was that wrong of me? Was it childish, vindictive, malicious, cold-hearted? Yeah, sure it was. Do I regret doing it? Maybe. Am I sorry if anyone got hurt in the process of me working through my feelings and confusion? Absolutely.
Again, I’m trying and learning . . . and I’m only human.
Now, let’s talk more about intent. This important person in my life also shared with me that when it comes to intent, it’s necessary to ensure that the intention is always pure. Specifically, if your intention is pure and you are making decisions for your well-being, then you can always feel good about that decision.
When I wrote and published my last blog, was my intention pure? Were these decisions I’d made for my well-being? And if not, what was the result I was looking for? What did I need to get from writing and posting the blog, and why?
Life is hard. Relationships are hard. Heartbreak is hard. Of course, these aren’t justifiable excuses to do any sort of harm. And, I can honestly say that throughout my entire life, I’ve never wanted to harm anyone. That’s never been my intention. Yet, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. For that, I wholeheartedly apologize. If I’ve ever caused anyone harm or distress, it wasn’t intentional, and I’m sorry.
I’m in pain right now. I’m suffering. I’m sad, angry, confused, lost, emotionally and mentally exhausted. One of the few ways I know how to work through these suffocating feelings is by writing. Writing is my therapy. Again, that’s not a justifiable excuse to hurt anyone—which has never been my intention, past or present—but merely me explaining my motive for writing the way I write.
To be fair, I could choose to write about good times instead of bad times in my life. Wonderful vacations, thoughtful gifts, spontaneous adventures, love, laughter, and fun. There’s been plenty of those throughout my journey, too. However, I don’t feel like I need to write about them or dissect them. There’s no confusion there; I fully understand those good times. I’m thankful for them and I appreciate them.
It’s the bad times I don’t understand. The lies, the confusion, the manipulation, the pain. In order for me to work through that pain, I have to dive right into it and explore it. I have to write about it. While writing about it, my intent is to understand it and learn more about it—not cause additional pain for myself or anyone else.
It’s likely that my intention with my most recent blog article (and even past articles) wasn’t fully pure, but slightly muddied. And, you know what? Screw the maybe; hell yes, I regret that. One more time: I’m trying and learning to get better. To be better. I want to learn and grow and be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. This takes time and work and consistency. And patience . . . which I openly admit I don’t have.
We’re not taught how to handle breakups or pain or heartaches or disappointments of any kind. In a sense, we’re all flying blind. Learning, growing, and hopefully doing our best not to inflict any of our past traumas on anyone else.
In most cases, breakups, pain, heartaches, and disappointments lead to a long list of what-ifs, if-onlys, hows, whys, and whens. They lead to riddles, if you will. Riddles that I’m desperately trying to answer, learn from, grow from, so I can move on.
If someone—if anyone—gets hurt in the process of me trying to learn, grow, move on, and better myself, I apologize. That’s never been my intent. It never will be my intent.
I’m only human.