I’d always thought I’d become a Ph.D. wielding master scholar in some scientific field somehow. That dream was easily struck down when reality hit me. I had been stretching myself too far by not sleeping for years. Six hours a night isn’t enough for a growing young adult, especially if you have a big disease. I have Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, and I’m lucky enough to still be alive at 28.
I got my first pneumonia at 20. Lack of sleep and food had weakened my immune system. School work didn’t just take away from my sleep but everything I needed medically. Anyway I dropped out of college. A college degree wasn’t worth dying over.
My dream was out the window. My increased medical needs didn’t allow enough time for the homework. The collapse of all my dreams lead me into undiagnosed depression. It took five years and feeling death creeping over my body twice to kick my depression.
Then, I needed my life to mean something again. I tried taking online classes. My medical needs had only grown in five years. I didn’t have enough time. Since I was planning on going into computer science, I tried learning computer programming on my own. I learned HTML quite quickly. HTML is the most intuitive computer language out there. CSS was not that much more difficult.
I fell flat on my face trying to learn C#. I looked at an online lesson and did the exercise on Eclipse. I kept getting coding errors for hours. I had my dad, the master programmer look over my shoulder. I’d used a comma instead of a period. Three months spent learning programming taught me programming wasn’t for me.
For years, this story idea had been in my head. It was a story that took place on a clear dome surrounding a forest planet. Clear geometric housing and an entire community living up there. That idea had been with me for more than a decade. That desire to tell my story had clashed with how much I hated writing.
I was bored a great majority of my day. My brain eventually convinced me to try writing again. I had this whole plot about a kid disappearing from the community. He somehow made it to the surface and needed to get back home. I had a few images from the story I wanted to put into writing. I struggled with writing the first sentence. I wrote a sentence with immense trouble and felt everything I would ever write would be stupid.
The sun shone brightly through the canopy.
The fact I remembered that sentence is significant in that I thought about it enough to memorize it. I took a long break from my stupid endeavor of writing. I abandoned that story for a later date. My mind was still bored enough to bug me with another storyline.
I wanted something about a man that wakes up in the future. Being cryogenically frozen is the frequent mode of operation to make that happen. It’s very nearly impossible to do that today. Freezing something creates ice crystals in the target object. It’s foolhardy to believe anytime in the near or mid future humans would find a way to undo the massive amount of cellular damage freezing inflicts. I think it’s much more likely that when cryogenic freezing first happens, the initial freeing process will be as important as the resuscitation process. Freezing something without the cellular damage in the first place makes revival much easier. The bigger question is if we can reanimate the dead. Cryogenically freezing basically kills whatever it is that you’re freezing.
I found a different solution. Scan the brain someone and store the data for the intervening time. Then clone the body and make it match the memory scan. That was the basis for my first finished novel.
The longer I wrote, the more my past traits clicked into place. Everything I had done throughout my life prepared me for writing. Meditation gave me enough insight into the human condition. My observation skills and memory helped me study situations happening around me on a daily basis. My ability to imitate the work of others from absorbing their work. Everything didn’t make sense before. What was the use of my skills? It’s like assembling an entertainment center with missing pieces. Things go together but it doesn’t make a cohesive whole.
- Your passion isn’t something that’s readily visible without trying out different pursuits.
- There is no such thing as natural talent. The passion to do something is enough. Passion is motivation based on the love of something.
- Try the “day to day” work of your passion.
- Look at the things that you loved as a child before the practicality of growing up warped you too much.
- Keep at your passion for a good period of time, until you learn some skills. Something should click. Some behavior intrinsic to you should come into play in the pursuit of your passion.
Graham Kar is a writer, blogger, and occasional artist.