Today is an off day for me, as I prepare a few articles for the upcoming week, while working on finalizing a project for the new version of Pirates Prospects. I’ll have more info coming to you on Wednesday on the site topic.
Song of the Day
First Pitch Topic of the Day
The Sunday theme of First Pitch is called Life, which is just my way of saying it’s a free write where I discuss a topic from my life and hopefully it helps someone to feel less alone with what they’re going through.
Today’s life theme is taking a break.
I relate to what MLB players have to go through in a way. Every single day in this job, I’m expected to perform with a new article. That article, my production, is meant to be consistent. If I have enough good articles, people will consider me a good writer and follow. If I have too many bad articles, I’m discarded for a replacement-level writer who is cheaper.
I’m also a person. A person with real life shit happening apart from my work life. In the last 365 days, my life has been crashing down around me in every form. There’s a loss in your soul when you find that the person who you loved the most viewed you more as an accessory to their image. There’s a loss when people you care about demonstrate that the relationship is one-sided.
Through all loss comes the potential for gain. A year ago today, my people are much different than they are now. Many are still in the same role they were before. Some have been newly promoted to more important roles. And there’s new people from the outside who weren’t around a year ago.
I’m rebuilding. Like an MLB franchise changing the coaching support staff, the last year for me has been huge in development. At some point in my early-to-mid 30s I slipped into the time stream. Everything in my life was a blur on autopilot. I woke up around age 35 with my life in chaos. I’m now at age 38, and a completely different person than I was even one year ago today.
Years from now, I’ll look back and feel like this is the time period where I became who I would forever be. Not drastically different from the person I was, but with 100% ownership over the person I now am.
Yet, this rebuilding period has its good days and bad days. It has days where I can’t escape the memories of my past. On those days, my writing about baseball is shit. It’s shit because I don’t care about something like baseball when I barely care about life itself.
There’s nothing that can be done with that thought. I’ve been through therapy, medication, and I smoke weed often to remove the deepest, darkest levels of depression. At this point, I’m 38 years old, with the memories of what so many people close to me have done to hurt me, and with the pain that I may have hurt them in return, combined with the confusion of whether the chicken or the egg came first. My pain from my past life is set, and the debt from that pain belongs to my present life. The only way to climb out of debt is to stack up more positive years in the future than I’ve had negative years in the past.
I’m optimistic about my future, and the future of this site. I say that at a point in my life where I’m bored with it all. There’s no city I want to visit or see. There’s no job that I really want to do. There’s nothing that I really care to purchase, and there’s nothing I could own that would give my life meaning or purpose. There’s no story that I haven’t heard, no music that feels new, no movie that surprises me. My choices are to either drop off the grid and wait to die, or stick around and create the things I want to see.
I’m going to do the latter. I don’t think many people get the opportunity that I have — one which I’ve created with a lot of hard work over the years, but which has also been given to me by every reader and contributor in that time. This is a fully independent site. I don’t have to follow the rules of every other site, which is why you’re not bombarded with intrusive advertisements on every page (except for stuff we sell on this site).
The one thing that drives me these days is my vision of what this site will be. I’m excited about those changes in 2022, while still being a bit frustrated that I can’t speed up to 2023 for the changes I have planned after these changes take place.
The reality is that even if things are more positive in the future with these changes, there will still be days like today. Hopefully fewer and far apart as time goes on. If I were a baseball player, I’d imagine today would be a day that I went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, with my head not being in the game. Because I’m human, like every baseball player, and not a robot who can just throw a switch and distract myself from everything but one task. If I wrote a baseball article today, it would be shit. My head wouldn’t be fully in it, and I’d end up leaving out key parts that would have otherwise made it a better article. Or, I just wouldn’t know what to say at all.
I know the solution. Take a break.
Tomorrow will be a better day, and if not, the next day will be. You can only go 0-for-4 for so long before you get a hit. At that point, it’s important to remember that the hits define you, and your only goal is to minimize the 0-for-4 days in between.
I don’t know how to do that completely. I do know if I take a break, even for a day, it will greatly reduce the odds of going 0-for-4 the next few days. I don’t know why, but perhaps it’s because it’s unnatural for anyone to be expected to perform in a work capacity in the constant way humans are expected to perform in this day in age — regardless of the job you have.
I think everyone should take more breaks. I think our productivity would be better in the long run, and our mental health would improve by using those breaks to focus on what has you down in life, and what you can do to remove that from your brain the next time you’re trying to produce. I don’t think my problems are unique, and I think my advantage in life is being able to express what I and many other people might be going through.
Ultimately, the goal with writing an article like this is attempting to make anyone who can’t express themselves feel like they’re not alone. I used to be that person who couldn’t express himself, and couldn’t qualify the pain I was in, or quantify what it was doing to my life. If my admission of loneliness helps anyone else feel less alone, or that their loneliness is only temporary, I’ll take that type of engagement from one person compared to getting thousands of people reading and liking my latest thoughts on baseball.
So, I’m going on a break the rest of the day, including behind the scenes stuff. I’ll be back tomorrow with some baseball writing, both in First Pitch and individual articles. Hopefully I’ll get a hit.
MONDAY: MLB Fans
TUESDAY: Streaming Choices
WEDNESDAY: Site Updates